Community Spotlight: Annie Star

Marty Woods never realized at the time he met Annie Star on a mixed doubles court in Calabasas a few years back that the two would become long-lasting friends and form an incomparable partnership aimed at helping those who may need a hand.

On Dec. 17, the two will once again host the sixth annual LaRhonda Amos Holiday Tennis Celebration. The event is billed as: “A super fun-filled day of tennis for children in the tennis community of Los Angeles with free tennis clinics & drills, games, lunch, snacks, prizes and a special visitor from the North Pole.”


The fun begins at 11 and last until 2:30 p.m. and takes place at the Jackie Tatum Harvard Tennis Park located at 1535 West 62nd Street in Los Angeles (on the corner of Halldale & 62nd Street).

“Through contributions and gifts we’ve been able to give more than $50,000 to Marty and the Pete Brown Scholarship Fund,” said Star. “We help year-round but this is our big event and the one we get the most kids out for.”

The Calabasas resident Star said they are expecting 200 kids to take part in the tennis celebration. “We have more than 500 toys wrapped and will put them on one side of the court and the let the kids hit for prizes,” said Star, a tennis lover who plays on three adult league teams. “It’s amazing to see the kids just light up. Everyone gets numerous things to take home, and no child is left out.”

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Star added: “We get kids who have never held a racket before and others who are ranked players. So there is quite a range. We really want to encourage the younger kids who have never tried tennis to come out and try and 10 and Under courts. We will provide the rackets and even the shoes, clothes, whatever they need that will keep them busy and off the streets and having a good time.”


Annie Star and Mary Pat Faley

Star said many of Southern California’s tennis directors and teaching pros come out to lend a hand on this special day. “The more coaches we get, the better,” she said. “These kids don’t get a lot of high-level coaching. There’s a lot of camaraderie on this day between the tennis pros, and it’s become the place to be. If you’re a local tennis coach and you have a pulse, we’d love to have you.”

Star is the mother of one son, Jonathan, who was a noted junior player and NCAA Division I recruit who is currently a freshman at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Star said the Holiday event would not be possible without the generous support of all the sponsors, including Tennis Warehouse. “They have been so good to us,” she said. “They just sent me 15 rackets today, without asking. Babolat, Wilson and Chase Bank are the other big ones we couldn’t do without.”

Star said there will be a raffle and craft area set up, for kids who may not be interested in the tennis clinics but still want to attend.

Mary Pat Faley of the Riviera Country Club is a major organizer of the event, and heads up the clinic. “She’s been a great supporter and always on board for whatever the families and kids need down there,” Star said of her good friend. “We love Mary Pat and she’s a great organizer of all the things we do on-court.”

For last-minute donations, please contact Star by email at: or call event organizers Marty Woods (714) 202-4778 or Delores Simmons (213) 448-1550.

— Steve Pratt

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